Woodwinds of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra were excellent — particularly in the Adagio. For instance, the oboe was so inoffensive in its sound, the man may find himself kicked out of the Oboists’ Guild.

I actually found the whole review a bit on the odd side, but I’m sure this offensive oboist is in error. Anyone else think it a bit … um … different?

And the conductor, a young 21, “looks about 12”. Well. Okay.

I read it here.


  1. The review is too clever by half. (Horns “unflubbing”?). Nordlinger often reads like a parody of classical music criticism. I once read a review of his where he discussed a Mozart piece called “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (sic). It was not a typo, because he then helpfully translated it for us as “A Little Night Music”. When you condescend, it’s best to at least be correct.

  2. “And the reviewer has seen and heard so much that he was constitutionally incapable of actually listening to and enjoying a performance, and was consequently in danger of being nominated for the Eternal Ennui club…”

    Perhaps he was assaulted by an oboe at some turning point in his past? One at a time any given oboe is pretty benign, but when they get in packs…

  3. Bill, I hate to sound like such an idiot, and I know you mentioned “Eine Kleine…” before … but where is the error in that? I’m sorry I’m not able to catch it!

    I was looking at the Ausgabe (http://nma.redhost24-001.com/DME/nma/nmapub_srch.php?l=2) and I just can’t figure out what you are pointing out.


    Want to help me out, please?! Thanks much!

  4. Tim, I do wonder how many reviewers truly love attending live concerts after a while. (I know some do, of course, just from what they write.) I can imagine that they eventually can’t hear the wonder any more, and can’t take joy in concerts. I hope I’m wrong ….

  5. Whoops! It’s a subtle spelling error… but “nacht” means “night”… the actual title is “Eine Kleine Nachmusik”… “nach” can be translated as “after”, or, in different context as the preposition “to” (“Lass ihns nach Berlinen kommen”). In Mozart’s divertimento, the title almost certainly means “after-dinner music”. I suppose we can assume that would be in the evening (“abend”) hours…. but, still, changing the TITLE of a composition is a pretty stark error for a reviewer to make.

    I bet Stephen Sondheim wouldn’t want his show re-titled, either!

  6. I’m sorry, Bill, but looking at the Mozart score I see “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (I took German and though I’m horrible at it now I actually know the difference between nacht and nach).

    So unless the score (From the Neue Mozart Ausgabe … so handy and free! http://nma.redhost24-001.com/DME/nma/start.php?l=2) I am looking at right now and all of my recordings of this work are misspelled I think you are incorrect. I’m always willing to be proven wrong, but it’s difficult when I’m actually looking at the score!

    (The work is the Serenade in G, KV 525. Maybe you are talking about something else? This is the popular serenade, played quite frequently, for strings.)

    Here’s a sample:

  7. Now you got me! Is it possible I’M wrong??? I got to check this out before I embarrass myself further.

  8. Certainly not a big deal, Bill. 🙂

    I know you’ve talked about your flute career here before. Are you still playing, btw? Just curious!